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Personal Safety in BA

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Belfast
posts: 541
reviews: 21
Personal Safety in BA

Okay, I know there are many threads in relation to this, but the search facility only showed ones from a few years ago. So I am looking for something a bit more recent.

How safe is it in BA? Is it okay to be taking photos of the architecture etc or will you be targeting yourself for a mugger?

It is difficult for someone proposing to visit a place as the reputation can exceed the reality - I know, I live Belfast - safest city in Europe!

Thanks,

Oregon
posts: 116
reviews: 14
1. Re: Personal Safety in BA

I have traveled alone to BA twice as a solo woman. Last time I stayed a month. I haven't really ever felt in danger. I am an intrepid and confident traveler, but I take the normal precautions. I have taken pictures on the street with no problem - just make sure your valuables are secured if you will be distracted. Generally there are other people on the street until quite late at night.

The neighborhood I stayed in last year was a little gritty, but the homeless and carteneros never troubled me (which is not to say that I am not troubled by poverty and homelessness). They seemed to be going about their business and not concerned with mine.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
posts: 26,010
reviews: 6
2. Re: Personal Safety in BA

I didn't find BA any more dangerous than where I live.....which is very safe, as long as I do not put myself in a position to be taken advantage of....like wandering into the wrong place.

Yes, it is a large city. Just use "street smarts". And enjoy your trip. It is a lovely city. Reminds me of Paris...the architecture, the parks.

Nice, France
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 2,084
reviews: 4
3. Re: Personal Safety in BA

I second 'teach2travel 2's' advice to the OP.

Those who’ve not travelled or spent much time in various cities with large populations need to learn and implement the basic precautions common to such cities in general. The more one travels, those precautions become instinctive within half a day of being somewhere new, taking into consideration variations or additional precautions needed for particular cities or countries.

If you key the word “safety” into this forum’s search box on its front page, there are today 58 pages of thread titles regarding safety. Reading those results' excerpts and then some threads will twig you to the kinds of things that concern you in conjunction with your style of travel and situation. Then you can search the same box again using more specific words each time.

Buenos Aires...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 16,492
reviews: 14
4. Re: Personal Safety in BA

My advice ... Blend in.

Try to dress like a local, don't wear cameras around your neck, carrying a big map in your hand, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to read it.

Locals dress here like they do in most cities, adults are not quite as casual as some cities elsewhere.

Walking down the street in a GAP sweatshirt with big white Nikes on your feet might make you stand out as not a local :)

These observations taken from a recent walk down my street .

When taking photos, I live here and do this .. stand by a wall if possible. Do Not Stand in the Middle of the sidewalk or alone in a park or large space.

This city allows people to ride up on the sidewalks on motorcycles/scooters/etc and they can come up behind you, snatch the camera and zoom away before you know what hit you, so don't put yourself in a vulnerable position when your attention is on the photo you are taking.

Don't keep your camera etc in a bag and leave it anywhere unattended and that would include hanging over your chair in a cafe etc.

If you want to save photos as you go, there are places here where you can download ..

I take my camera with me every day . Up until recently, I was always accompanied by a rather large hairy dog and people would either avoid coming too close or most often, flock to us in order to kiss and pet him.

He , I always felt, made me a bit safer when having my attention on photos rather than who/what was around me.

Just stay aware of your surroundings, you will be fine.

Nice, France
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 2,084
reviews: 4
5. Re: Personal Safety in BA

Scarlett,

Your advice so well depicts the experience of protecting oneself in BA.

As fine as I am walking all over BA by myself, it is less work for me when my husband is with me. He always does my looking around to see who's around me when I need to concentrate on taking a shot. He would move my body to a better position instantly if he spotted a possible threat. (I'm used to him leading me in dance.) I'm going to miss him being with me on my next trip.

Standing to one side of the street is very apt advice. When possible, I stand with my back against or close to a wall so that no one's body can pass between me and the wall. Then I keep an eye on my 3 'unprotected' directions. Doorways are good for this too so long as you can still photograph exactly what you want from that position.

I actually carry my small camera on its thin round cord around my neck. If you're wearing a V-neck top or shirt that doesn't have body-hugging 'Lycra', you can then drop the camera end under your top and it stays put. It's pretty comfortable. This adds to safety in the sense that I don't have to keep taking out and putting away into a bag or pocket my camera on the street. Women's clothes often lack pockets or ones that are safe.

Buenos Aires...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 16,492
reviews: 14
6. Re: Personal Safety in BA

Thank you sockhopper :)

I admit today, it was too cold to stand outside and take many photos so I was just pulling my camera out of my pocket and shooting and hoping one of them came out well. At times like this, my husband is the "wall" ..

I enjoy winter coats with pockets for my camera, in summer it becomes more problematic .. I used to have a large pup who seemed to attract attention of the good sort and made those with bad intentions think twice .. now I have to get into a whole new mindset about this myself. :(

A friend visited here a few years ago and this is a man who is not the one you would think of if you said Victim.

Over 6 feet tall and an ex-Marine . He held his camera out to shoot a photo, on Callao, and a kid on a motorcycle came up on the sidewalk, grabbed the camera right out of his hand and drove off.

If he had been standing with his back to a wall .....

Belfast
posts: 541
reviews: 21
7. Re: Personal Safety in BA

I´m travelling to BA tomorrow now and I´m gettign bad vibes of the place from Argentines I have met here in El Calafate. Not looking forward to it now as I am travelling solo. I was looking forwrd to the nightlife, but now I think I´ll avoid it :-(

B.C. Canada
posts: 868
reviews: 160
8. Re: Personal Safety in BA

funkey_monkey_77: Porteños are justly infamous for staring. Perhaps, it is a national pastime, as well. Generally, it doesn't mean anything. My DH & I have always felt as safe in BA as any other city we have been to. Just use the same street smarts that you would use in Belfast. :)

WDC
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 3,250
reviews: 42
9. Re: Personal Safety in BA

And I ( not a strong looking female ) walked alone at night in Recoleta and Palermo Botanico (and with my husband in Palermo Soho) every year. I was careful, comfortable and NO PROBLEMS.

Late at night take a Taxi so that you won't be worried. Otherwise, walk, take the bus and use the care and good sense you would use in Belfast - or maybe in London (as you would be a tourist in London).

Have a fun and safe and wonderful visit to this vibrant and charming city.

Shreveport...
posts: 269
reviews: 1
10. Re: Personal Safety in BA

I just returned from a week in B. A. -- went as far south as La Boca and as far northwest as Ave. Baez/Northern Palermo - and everything in between. B.A. is a great city and the people who live there are luckly. I saw NO crime, NO problems on the metro/ Subtle. I stayed out there very late- actually to the close of Hummer club one night and there was no problem. I Did not take any buses but took multi. cabs and they were all nice. You may/will get overcharged as a no spanish speaker-(as my self) but it is not that much) go enjoy-----one thing do your research on where to go on what night.....it will make you trip that much better. Again Great City!!!!